simple is beautiful

How to Grow Succulents & a 20% Off Sale

Monday, August 29, 2011

I hope that everyone had a nice weekend and made it through the storm.  We were lucky to escape with only high winds thankfully.


Over the weekend I visited my local nursery in search of succulents.  I had so much fun talking to the nice man about growing conditions, etc. and thought I would share his tips in case you are interested in growing succulents yourself.


Succulents drink a fair amount of water, but it is important that they have good drainage.



They also prefer bright light and would be very happy in a sunny window.  Bright indirect light is best.



Succulents can grow in all sorts of containers.  I really like this terrarium style with the soil on the bottom and grit or gravel on top.


I chose three succulents to try thinking our kitchen window would be the perfect sunny spot.  The soil that was recommended was this cactus mix which provides good drainage.  I started with small plants because I like to watch things grow. 



 Here they are all potted up in our kitchen window.  Does anyone remember Smith & Hawken (the catalog)?  I have had this copper tray from the old Smith and Hawken days.  Our window boxes came from there too.  Gosh I miss that catalog.


Have you tried succulents?  If you like the look, but don't have a green thumb, you can find a tutorial for a faux succulent terrarium right here.  Enjoy your day.


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I have extended the sale in my etsy store.  Use promo code THANKYOU2 at checkout to receive 20% off.  Sale ends Wednesday.  Happy shopping!

What a Week...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Emerald Isle

This has been quite the week this week.  First came the earthquake that we felt even here in North Carolina - literally shaking our house.  Then came the first day of school.  And now for the hurricane.  For me it is a week of letting go and watching our boys soar into the new school year.  Bitter sweet.

Next week will be a little more normal around here.  Thanks for sticking around.  Happy weekend!

Little Surprises - Dreamy Chairs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm keeping this post short & sweet today.  School starts so I am needed elsewhere...

I love pretty little surprises.  Especially when they come in the form of fabric.  This would be a great way to stretch the fabric budget too by using the pricier fabric in a smaller area.




A Dose of Pretty

What about you - do you like pretty surprises too?

My Very Own Abstract Art

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There is something timeless and striking about abstract art.  The good abstract art, not the kind I saw in the orthodontist office yesterday ;).  I know it has been a hot topic on the blogs lately so I don't mean to bore you with more of the same.  However, I do want to share with you the lovely piece that I recently won on the blog "My Many Moments".  Heather shared her inspiration on this post  and decided to try painting her own.  Actually, she made two - one to keep and one to giveaway.  I was thrilled to be the lucky recipient.


Cottage and Vine

By the way, if you haven't checked out Heather's blog, you should.  She has the formula for the modern/vintage mix that I often refer to.  Thank you Heather!

For more DIY art ideas, check out my "art" board on pinterest.  Not all of them are actually DIY projects, but they are inspiring just the same.  



I am especially crazy for this one.

Enjoy your day!

A Big Week

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is going to be a big week.  School starts Thursday (sniff) and we still have supplies to purchase and open houses to attend.  Summer reading is taking much longer than our boys realized.  Note to self, The Count of Monte Christo is a big book.  And so is Genghis Khan.  We are trying to squeeze the last few drops of summer out of our days.  The high dive at our pool is always the end of summer celebration.  In other words, it isn't summer until my husband and I go off.  I usually manage to put it off until the day the pool closes because heights aren't my idea of a fun time.


Yesterday I cut the last remaining flowers from the hydrangeas.  Another sign that summer is coming to an end.  Just as a side note, Annabelle hydrangeas should be cut to 12-18" above the ground at the end of summer.  They bloom on new growth.




Over the weekend, Mom shared some goodies from her garden.  She has such a green thumb and her gardens always blow me away.  This year, she tried growing butternut squash with great success.  Eating butternut squash in the summer has been a treat because we usually only have it in the fall roasted or in soups. This summer we have enjoyed it grilled using this recipe here.

We also celebrated Mom's birthday over the weekend.  It was a surprise and we actually pulled it off well.  Over the years, Mom has collected many things.  Her new collection is Limoges boxes.  We gave her two boxes to add to her collection.  I must admit that I have grown rather fond of these darling little boxes myself.  I can just imagine an entire collection on a dresser or side table.  They are all so delicate and the colors are beautiful.


The true Limoges boxes are stamped.  You can find them on ebay or etsy.  



These Place mats...

Thursday, August 18, 2011



...have kept me very busy.  When I first made them to sell in my etsy store I had no idea how well received they would be.  Now my little place mats are all over the country and have even made their way to the UK to be displayed in the Verdant Works Exhibit along with other jute items from the centuries.


To say that I am honored, flattered, and grateful would be an understatement.  Thank you Sherry, for giving me the idea!

Big Black Mirrors

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thank you so much for all of your comments yesterday about the slip covered cube.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out and made several mistakes in the process.  Many of you requested a tutorial and I promise to post one soon now that I have the kinks worked out.


When I showed new pictures of our entry last week, I received several emails asking for the source of the black mirror.  You remember that it wasn't always black.


It had a silver-ish finish when we bought it and I didn't think it would provide enough pop against our newly painted white walls.  I recently stumbled upon a folder of "black mirrors" that I had been collecting for inspiration.





If you are also curious about the source, our mirror came from a local store that has since closed.  However, while out and about the other day shopping for clients, I saw mirrors that were similar to mine.

Ross $149 (stained wood, gold)


Garden Ridge $129 (black)

And of course there is always the Ikea option for much less....

Ikea (brown/black 79.99)


I hope this helps.  Have a great day!

The Pleather Cube

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'll bet more of us have a pleather cube than would like to admit.  I think this one came from Linens & Things or somewhere similar with a coupon for 1/2 off ( a long time ago).  I really do like it for the storage and extra seating; just not crazy about the pleather.


I wanted to experiment with making a slip cover for it and had some extra linen and burlap on hand to play around with.  I used linen on top because it is soft and burlap around the sides.


Now that I have made one, the next one will be much easier.  What a fun way to dress up those ho-hum storage ottomans.



Monogrammed Box

Friday, August 12, 2011


 This is a painting that Mom and I found in a thrift store for a song.  I am always drawn to images of water scenes and boats so this piece just had to come home with me.  I really wanted to pull an accent color from the painting to break up all the blue and white in the sun room and I thought the coral/orange shades would work well.


Boxes are a great way to bring in color and provide extra storage.  If anything can look good and give me another place to squirrel something away then win - win.  We have boxes all over the house and they mostly hold old cards and letters (something I have a difficult time throwing away).  I decided to paint the box you see above with paint left over from this project.



After applying 3 coats of paint to the box sanding in between, the next step was adding a monogram.  My inspiration for this project came from this umbrella stand and this box.


To come up with my own monogram, I sketched out the letters on copy paper until it looked "right" to me.  Then I placed the paper over the box and re-traced the design pressing hard enough to make a slight impression in the wood.  The final step was filling in the design with white paint.


I really like the pop of color it gives the room. 


The boys have been gone all week and I have been wrapping up lots of projects.  Come back next week to see what I did with this....

Have a great weekend!

Joining Metamorphosis Monday.

DIY Sink Stands

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm considering a DIY project for the highly abused boy bathroom.  It seems like it would be easy.  Find a table.  Find a sink.  Drill a hole.  Viola!  Something tells me there is more to it than this.


Have you ever fashioned a table into a sink stand?  Do you have any tips/advice?

In other news, the foyer link is still open if you care to join in or visit the links that have been shared.  I can safely say there is something for everybody at the party ;)

All images

TV Storage - a better option

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Does anyone remember these shelves that were originally planned to hold the TV equipment?  I honestly don't blame you one bit if you have forgotten this ugly duckling.



As luck would have it, shortly after I finished painting the shelves, an even better option presented itself.  Before I go there, here are the shelves after being painted.  I have no doubt that they will find a spot somewhere in our house - for the storage alone.




Now back to the better option...

I found a cabinet at a sale in the mountains that I thought would be perfect for holding the electronics that go along with having a TV.  The only problem is that I didn't buy it.  Long story short, the cabinet now belongs to me - thank you Mom and Darrell.    And let's just say that timing is everything because a man was about to buy everything that was left in the house - including the cabinet. 



Here is the new (to me) cabinet.  I love how funky and old it is and the brass is even better in person.  It needs a little TLC, but not much.  I'm so glad to finally wrap up this hole TV switcheroo thing and finally hide the cords, etc. for once and for all.  I will share pictures once everything is in place.

If would like to enter the "Rolled Canvas Giveaway" go here.   Also, be sure to stop by tomorrow for the "My Favorite Room" series.

A Rolled Canvas Giveaway!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011



I really love the idea of taking a memorable moment and turning it into art work that you can enjoy for years to come.  UPrinting is offering one of my readers a 16" X 20" rolled canvas print.  The print comes either with a 2" border or no border - your choice.  Uprinting offers a range of sizes and canvas options which you can read more about here.


Before I get to the details of the giveaway, let's look at some ideas that will get your creative juices flowing...



To enter the giveaway:

1.  Leave a comment. 
2.  Leave another comment if you are follower because I love my followers :)
3.  You may tweet, post on your blog , or share on facebook for an additional entry.  Be sure to leave another comment.


The winner will be announced this Friday.  You must be 18 years of age and live in the US to win.  If you have won a rolled canvas before, you are no longer eligible, sorry. 

Good luck!

last 3 images:  pinterest
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